Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway Closes Early Oct. 6 to Let Paint Dry

There MUST be a good punch line somewhere here… but I can’t think of it. Anyhow, heads-up on the 4:00 p.m. road closure on Wednesday, October 6th to allow the median lines to dry. There will be a handful of folks caught by surprise, unable to make the quick jaunt up to Bryce of the Grand Canyon they had planned so carefully… don’t be one of them!

When the road crew lays down the paint, you know the construction must be approaching the finish line. Big thanks to all the folks on the road construction crew for spending long hours out on the east side this summer to make our roads more safe and comfortable to drive on!

Bucket of Yellow PaintZion National Park News Release
September 29, 2010
For Immediate Release
Erik De Groat 435-772-0180

Earlier Road Closure in Zion National Park on October 6

Superintendent Jock Whitworth has announced that the section of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway within Zion National Park will close at 4 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 6, 2010. The earlier closure is necessary to allow road painting during daylight hours.

The painting is installing a center line on the newly paved roadway on the east side of Zion National Park. For an accurate line to be painted, adequate daytime light is necessary. Additionally, temperatures of over 50 degrees and time for the paint to dry without traffic are required. The temperatures at night and in the morning hours are too cold at the 5100-5700 foot elevation for the paint to be applied. These factors, along with lighter traffic flow than in the middle of the day, made the evening a logical choice for the closure time to complete this important work for traveler safety. If there is rain that day, the early closure will be rescheduled for another date.

The west side of the project and final sealing of the road will require additional closures later in October. The dates for those closures will be announced when they are determined.

The road will close at the park’s East Entrance and at the junction of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive at 4:00 p.m. on October 6. All vehicles must be past these closure points and moving out of the construction area at that time. Any unattended vehicle left parked in the construction zone will not be allowed to drive on the road until the paint has cured.

The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway is closed to all vehicles 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., Sunday through Thursday nights. The road is open to passenger cars 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all times from Friday at 8 a.m. to Sunday at 8 p.m. Hours for large vehicles 7 feet 10 inches wide or wider and/or 11 feet 4 inches tall or taller are currently 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

Alternate routes for travelers between US Highway 89 and Zion Canyon are Utah SR 59 from Hurricane to Arizona SR 389(1.5 hours—good for large vehicles); Utah SR 14 from Cedar City to Long Valley Junction (2 hours—steep grades/curves); or from I-15 to Utah SR 20 (2 hours—good for large vehicles).

For updated Zion-Mt Carmel Highway construction information, call 435-772-3256 (press 1, then 4) or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/zion.

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About Nick

Nick Wilkes found ZAC in 1996, working first as an outfitter, then a guide, then as webmaster. An ardent adventure enthusiast, Nick's recent exploits involve laying down roots in Wisconsin, chasing his kids around the house, working as a Madison, WI photographer and growing his Wisconsin climbing business. Connect with Nick on Facebook, Google+, or directly via email.
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